Drama for schools

I have been involved in running workshops, after school clubs or working within classes since 2006. I’ve worked primarily with primary schools but have also been involved with secondary schools. Mostly we’ve created lived drama pieces together but I’ve also made short films with students and run an after school ‘writing for radio’ club which resulted in some of their work being played on Radio Oxford.

Please click below to read examples of my writing:



And click below to see Poster for Walking on Eggshells performance
Walking on Eggshells Performances Poster

Script Writing Workshop with 6th Form Group

‘Dramatist, Susie Stead, visited Headington to give a script-writing workshop to a group of L6 girls. The girls listened to Susie talk about her career and experiences as a writer, before enjoying a range of warm-up exercises, leading to the composition and performance of a short sketch.

Lucy, L6, explained: ‘Susie is a fantastic script-writer and said that the key to her work is exploring conflicts. We identified something which annoyed, upset or just got to us in some way and explored that through some improvised drama – it was exciting and entertaining. Susie was also very inspirational, urging us to get writing because we need more female writers out there!
(Quoted from : http://www.headington.org/content/ready-steady-write)

As well as writing and creating numerous dramas and sketches in school with children/young people I have been commissioned to write 2 plays…

In 2009, Oxford County commissioned me to write a play about bullying to be performed by and for children in years 6-8 (age 11 to 13). The result was the play ‘Animals’. It is 50 minutes long.

In 2010 Oxford Family Mediation commissioned me to write a play on Family Break-up from a child’s perspective. The result, following drama workshops with children, was ‘Walking on Eggshells – a quartet of short plays on Family Separation.'(about 30 minutes long)

In March 2010 This play was performed by Year 6 pupils of the Headington Partnership as part of their PHSCE curriculum.

Responses from children include:
• “Animals sent chills up and down my spine”,
• ‘I enjoyed all the play’,
• ‘Your play showed me what cyber bullying is and how much you can get in
trouble and how it affects the victims lives.’
• “all the scenes got me thinking like: what is happening? What did Jamie do?”

From the Deputy Head of Windmill, Andy Spooner:
• “I’ve never seen the children so enthused and engaged during post-play discussions and activities.”

The play was directed by Hugh Turner and myself for WhatMatters Theatre-in-Education and was performed to all Year 6 classes of the Headington Partnership of Schools at St Andrews CP school on Monday 8th March 2010 and then as the centre piece of a teachers’ INSET Day ‘Embedding Anti-Bullying Practice through a creative SEAL approach.’ at Hawkwell House, Iffley on Tuesday 9th March, 2010.

‘This challenging and thought provoking play has been specially commissioned and written for Oxfordshire Anti-Bullying Strategy and Healthy Schools. It deals with a wide range of bullying issues including homophobic name calling, cyberbullying, the impact of bullying, the role of the bystander and strategies for how young people can deal with bullying more effectively. The play is produced and directed by ‘WhatMatters Theatre-in-Education’ renowned for their successful ‘Secrets’ project with this school partnership and many others in Oxfordshire.’ Jo Brown, Oxfordshire Anti Bullying Strategy, Karen Errington, Healthy Oxfordshire Schools (HOST).

WALKING ON EGGSHELLS – A quartet of short plays on family separation was directed by Marion Bloice Smith with Hugh Turner for WhatMatters Theatre-in-Education and performed in March 2011 at St. Andrews CP school, Headington for the Headington Partnership of Schools.
It was performed again in 2012 at Rose Hill CP school, with partnership of schools from South Oxford.

All children took part in workshops and all had the chance to contribute ideas, experiences and take part.
The pupils really enjoyed it, Drama brought the issues alive. Those who wanted to/ were keen went onto writers workshops (which I ran).

Comments received from members of the audience in March 2011 included:
• “I found the children and young people’s performances brave, touching and thought-provoking.”
• “I found it true” (audience member, age 9)
• “Such important issues delivered in a mature way. Amazing.” Tina Farr, Deputy Head, Wood Farm School.
• “I think it is a wonderfully creative and effective way of developing
knowledge and skills in children and young people to cope with the impact of
family conflict, separation and divorce and a very powerful way of ensuring their voices are heard. I found it to be thought provoking and inspiring overall.” Gerry Byrne, Clinical Lead for Family Assessment and Safeguarding Service & Infant-Parent Perinatal Service.
• “It was so powerful and the children were having a great time. I saw some
individuals in the audience near me reacting strongly to some of the dialogue, touching on their personal experience? A lesson I will never forget.” Jayne Coxall, OFM Mediator (trainee).

“I thought it was an excellent production and you all did a fabulous job, especially the children. Hopefully those children who feel that they are not being heard or are scared to speak out will now feel more confident.” Liz Jones, Sexual and Domestic Violence Coordinator, Oxford City Council.

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